Page:Life of Octavia Hill as told in her letters.djvu/126

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chap.
LIFE OF OCTAVIA HILL

do them. I don't think he still does mean me for an illuminator; but I feel, as Dawie[1] says, it is altogether his doing, and I have no responsibility. He was so kind to-day. We are looking forward to his visit with great delight. He has lent me 3rd and 4th vols. of "Modern Painters" to read aloud in the evenings, at my request.


December 10th, 1857.

Emily to Florence.

Ruskin came a little before his time. Mama, Ockey and I were in the room ready to receive him. He came in, looking kind and bright; and the first thing he asked, before he sat down, was, how you were. Mama read him Aunt Emily's letter about you, and one of your letters. Andy soon came in, and we had a great deal of most interesting conversation—on the respective influences of town and country—on French, English, and Americans on animals, of which Ruskin is very fond—on Reserve and Cordelia. When Ruskin said something about reserve, Andy and Ockey exclaimed, laughing, "Oh you should ask Minnie," which made me feel very hot and blush. Ruskin took my part and was very kind. He agrees with me in thinking it so much more easy to write than to speak about anything one feels. Andy and Ockey disagreed about it. He agreed very much with all Mama's remarks. After tea we sang to Ruskin, which he liked, I think; and it was very interesting to hear his remarks on the different songs. He always chose out some point which he liked and which he could praise, which was very pretty of him.

  1. Miss Margaret Gillies.